Integridad is very conscious that money is the drug, of which our addiction has caused our irrational self-destruction in the last century. Most users of money still don’t have a clear understanding that spending is destructive and investing is constructive, and how to distinguish between the two. By example we aim to teach this difference.
That said, Integridad is dedicated to investing all it can in people and the ecosystem they are part of. So our way of investing for development is summed up in the following:
Selffinity’s Path to Permanent Peace and Prosperity:
- Firstly, be grateful to your parents for all they did or did not do for you, and for all you inherited from them. They made their best effort. This gratitude will teach you the universal respect that will allow you to respect yourself much more honestly.
- Concentrate on who you are, invest all you can in exploring, learning and growing. Do not always go with the flow, ford rivers and cross mountain ranges. Avoid repetition, conditioning. You are the only thing you really can and should try to have dominion over. At the same time don’t confuse the two functions of your skin, it isolates the blood from, and unites the mind to, the infinitely diverse world. Not it isolates the mind and unites the blood.
- Fundamental to knowing yourself is knowing what knowing is – what is truth and what is illusion. Illusions come only when we are controlled by fear and therefore fear separates us from our true self.
- As you come to peace with who you are, you will notice a change in what you do; you will invest increasingly in helping others to invest in who they are, and in the process, together you will begin to help other species to increase in value too. This is not because you are becoming less selfish as commonly understood; to the contrary, your sense of self is growing, you are bonding with your universe, you are becoming whole, which only energises you to serve your whole self, much more.
- Finally, our children will be truly grateful for what we will have done, and for what they inherit. But the world they live in is not what will teach them this genuine appreciation and respect for other generations; it will be the fountain of value within them that will allow them to see.
Our team members are all at stages four or five of this path and recognize the importance of this sequence. We demonstrate it through our commitment to our people over anything, including our incomes. If it weren’t the case that would demonstrate we are still poor internally and therefore incapable of helping others. The admin members give the first five hours of each week’s work as a gift to the foundation. Project managers elaborate projects at no cost to the foundation to stretch our service to others and demonstrate our priorities.
As a way of teaching empowerment we use local human and natural resources to drive the projects as much as is practical. This helps organise and strengthen communities. We also ensure projects are self-enriching and synergized with the real needs of communities, so that those involved feel energized to participate and value and care for the project long after it has been put in place. We carefully seek people who are passionate about their work and care about their community.
As a result we are able to manage things more efficiently. Most costs go into training and mobilizing people and the purchase of resources. Sometimes there will be a need to purchase a piece of land of particular ecological or social importance and if we can’t arrange it to be donated then we will need the help of many supporters.
Another aspect that gives us a huge advantage over other anti-poverty organisations is that we believe that poverty is not associated with the lower economic bracket but with the whole culture. In practice, that means integrating and dissolving social classes, not labelling and separating them. The middle class are naturally those who make the best teachers to bring the struggling kids out of their poverty paradigm. So while we are totally focused on fighting poverty we don’t even recognize any such segregation and may have up to a quarter of our beneficiaries being officially above the poverty line. This means the most disadvantaged of all children can grow up, not believing themselves to be “a poor person” but “a person” – this is vital to achieving our goals.
If you are at one of the first three stages of the above path, please invest in yourself. But if you are at stages four or five we invite you to invest in Selffinity1, your infinite self, our foundation is working exactly in that, where your investment will multiply itself fractally2.
(1) and (2): see Our Philosophy for meaning